Orthodox River


November 12 2020 - October 30 2020

Martyrs Zenobios, Bishop of Egeia, and his sister Zenobia (+ 285). Disciples from the Seventy: Tertius (Tercias), Mark, Justus and Artemis (I).

PriestMartyr Marcian, Bishop of Syracuse (II). Martyress Eutropia (+ c. 250). Martyress Anastasia of Soluneia (Thessalonika) (III). Saint Stefan Miliutin, King of Serbia, his brother Dragutin and their mother Elena (Helen). Sainted Joseph, Patriarch of Constantinople. Martyrs Alexander, Cronion, Julian, Macarius and another 13 Martyrs. Saint Jotam (+ 1465, Gruzia). Saint Germanos. Monk Simeon. Martyr Maximus the Deacon.

Icons of the Mother of God: Ozeryansk (XVI) and Chislensk.

The PriestMartyr Zenobios, Bishop of Egeia, and his sister Zenobia suffered a martyr’s death in the year 285 in Cilicia. From childhood they were raised in the holy Christian faith by their parents, and they led pious and chaste lives. In their mature years, shunning the love of money, they distributed away their wealth, an inheritance, giving it to the poor. For his beneficence and holy life the Lord rewarded Zenobios with the gift of healing various maladies. And he was chosen bishop of a Christian community in Cilicia.

In the dignity of bishop, Saint Zenobios zealously spread the Christian faith among the pagans. When the emperor Diocletian (284-305) began a persecution against Christians, Bishop Zenobios was the first one arrested and brought to trial to the governor Licius. “I shalt speak with thee but briefly, – said Licius to the saint, – for I propose to thee: life – if thou worshipest our gods, or death – if thou dost not”. The saint answered: “This present life without Christ is death; better I prepare to endure the present torment for my Creator, and then with Him live eternally, than to renounce Him because of the present life, and then be tormented eternally in hades”.

By order of Licius, they nailed him to a cross and began the torture. The sister of the bishop, seeing the suffering of her brother, wanted then to stop it with him. She bravely confessed her own faith in Christ afront the governor, for which she also was given over to torture.

By the power of the Lord they remained alive after torture on a red-hot cot and in a boiling kettle. The saints were then beheaded. Presbyter Hermogenes secretly buried the bodies of the martyrs.

The Holy Disciples from the Seventy: Tertius (Tercias), Mark, Justus and Artemis: Saint Tertius was the second bishop in succession (after the holy Disciple Sosipater) in Iconium, where he converted many pagans to Christ, and here he ended his life as a martyr. The Apostle Paul makes mention of him in the Epistle to the Romans (Rom. 16: 22). Saint Mark, he that was John, (Acts 12: 12), a nephew of the Disciple Barnabas, was bishop of Apolloniada (Col. 4: 10). It was in the house of his mother Maria that the persecuted disciples found shelter after the Ascension of the Lord. Saint Justus, called Barsaba, a son of Saint Joseph the Betrothed, was chosen in place of Judas, together with Matthias. He was a bishop and died a martyr’s death at Eleutheropolis.

Saint Artemis was bishop of the Lycian city of Lystra, and he died peacefully.

The Holy PriestMartyr Marcian, Bishop of Syracuse, a disciple of the Apostle Peter, was sent to Sicily. Here he settled into a cave near the city of Syracuse and successfully spread the faith in Christ. He died a martyr. His relics are situated in the Italian city of Gaeta. (The PriestMartyr Marcian is the same person as Saint Marcellus, Bishop of Sicily, whose memory is 9 February).

The Martyress Eutropia suffered for Christ in Alexandria in about the year 250. Often visiting Christians locked up in prison, she encouraged them to the patient endurance of suffering. For this the saint was arrested. At her trial she firmly confessed her faith in Christ and she died after grievous tortures.

Saint Stefan (Stephen) Miliutin, King of Serbia, his brother Dragutin, and their mother Elena (Helen): Saint Stefan was the younger son of king Stefan Urosh I, and grandson of First-Crowned King Saint Stefan (Comm. 24 September). He ruled Serbia from 1275 to 1320. Stefan Miliutin received the throne from his elder brother Dragutin, a true Christian, who after a short reign transferred power over to his brother, and he himself in loving solitude withdrew to Srem, where he did secret ascetic deeds in a grave-pit, dug by his own hand. During his righteous life, Saint Dragutin toiled much over converting the heretic Bogomils to the true faith. His death occurred on 2 March 1316.

Saint Stefan Miliutin, having become king, bravely by both word and by deed, defended the Orthodox Serbs and other same-faith peoples from numerous enemies. Pious Stefan did not forget to thank the Lord for His beneficence. More than 40 churches were built by him, as also many monastery and vagrant hostels. The saint particularly concerned himself with the Athonite monasteries.

When the Serbian kingdom fell, the monasteries remained centres of national culture and Orthodoxy for the Serb nation. Saint Stefan died on 29 October 1320 and was buried at the Bansk monastery. After two years his undecayed relics were uncovered.

Saint Elena, the pious mother to her sainted sons, after the death of her husband devoted her whole life to pious deeds: she built a shelter for the impoverished, and constructed a monastery for those wanting to live in purity and virginity. Near the city of Spich she erected the Rechesk monastery and endowed it with the necessities. Before her death, Saint Elena accepted monasticism and expired to the Lord on 8 February 1306.

© 1999 by translator Fr. S. Janos